Nibinamik Sets Sights on Safe Drinking Water

Drinking Water Report Released

Nibinamik First Nation, Treaty 9 Territory, Ontario — Chief Johnny Yellowhead says, “This funding will help provide clean, safe drinking water to our community—something that we haven’t had for so many years now. What Nibinamik needs is a long-term, reliable solution to our infrastructure crisis. With this funding, Canada is finally signalling that it sees the need to provide more than a band-aid approach and that is a very positive step forward.”

The Government of Canada is working in partnership with First Nations to improve water infrastructure and support access to safe, clean and reliable drinking water in First Nations communities.

Kenora MP Bob Nault states, “Every Northerner, regardless of where they live, deserves access to safe, clean, drinkable water. I would like to congratulate Chief Yellowhead and council on their water plant upgrades and expansion, which will end the long-term drink water advisory in the community.”

Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services, has announced funding to advance the design and construction of a water treatment plant upgrade and water distribution expansion for Nibinamik First Nation. Once complete, this project will eliminate the drinking water advisory that has affected the community since 2013.

Following the design phase, construction is set to begin in spring 2020 with a projected completion date of spring 2021. The water treatment plant will provide sustainable access to safe, clean and reliable drinking water to the community’s 360 residents. ISC has committed up to $6 million for the project.

Quick facts

  • Nibinamik First Nation is in northern Ontario, located approximately 500 km northwest of Thunder Bay.
  • The number of long-term drinking water advisories on public drinking water systems on reserves decreased from 105 in November 2015 to 58 as of May 9, 2019.
  • Working in collaboration with First Nations, the Government of Canada has committed to ending all long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves by March 2021.
  • Budget 2016 provided $1.8 billion over five years toward water and wastewater infrastructure.
  • Budget 2017 committed an additional $49.1 million over three years towards improving access to safe drinking water.
  • Budget 2018 provides an additional $172.6 million over three years to help accelerate progress on lifting drinking water advisories and to ensure more infrastructure projects can be completed prior to 2021. Budget 2018 also provides support for repairs to high risk water systems, recruitment, training and retention initiatives, and the establishment of innovative First Nations-led service delivery models.